Centre Approves Creation of Weapon System Branch for Indian Air Force
Creation of the new WS branch would entail unification of all weapon system operators under one single entity
NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: On the occasion of celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Central government has approved the creation of a new branch named the Weapon Systems (WS) branch, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defence on Saturday.
A new operational branch of the IAF has been created for the first time since Independence.
The ministry's statement also said that the creation of the new WS branch would entail unification of all weapon system operators under one single entity dedicated to the operational employment of all ground-based and specialist airborne weapon systems.
The branch will immensely enhance the war fighting capability of the Indian Air Force, it said.
Confirming the development, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari said in Chandigarh on Saturday that the central government has approved the creation of a weapon system branch for the officers of the Indian Air Force, which would save it Rs 3,400 crore in flying training.
"The new branch will essentially man the specialised streams of surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, remotely piloted aircraft, and weapon system operators in twin and multi-crew aircraft," he said.
Chaudhari inspected a ceremonial parade that was held at the air force station at Chandigarh on Saturday morning to mark the IAF anniversary. The parade was followed by a march-past.
A fly-past in the Ensign formation was performed by 3 Mi-17V5 led by Wing Commander Vishal Jain, when the IAF chief arrived.
Chaudhari added that the IAF has lived up to its share of challenges in the last one year and it has taken them "head on and with all guns blazing."
The IAF chief said that they have performed a whole spectrum of roles, from a continued deployment along our borders to performing disaster relief operations, which included rescuing stranded Indians from conflict zones.
He further said the traditional land, sea, and air domains have expanded to include space and cyberspace, forming a continuum of 'hybrid warfare'.
Chaudhari insisted that conflicts in the future cannot be fought with yesterday's mindset, considering these changes.
Recruiting new cadre as air warriors into the IAF through the Agnipath scheme is a challenge, but it is also an opportunity to harness India's youth potential in the service of the nation, Chaudhari stated.